Camp David 21 Presenters include…
Scott Amman is a marketing professional of a different kind, and with an enterprise of a different kind. As General Counsel of World Wrestling Entertainment (think Hulk Hogan and The Rock), he and his colleagues market, license, and protect the intellectual properties of McMahon-family-controlled, WWE. You might also know Scott from his former role as General Council of Orange County Choppers and numerous appearances on Discovery Channel’s “American Chopper” (“OCC” was a study in family business if there ever was one – you met Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. at Camp David in their heyday in the 90s). In a world of digital marketing, in-person events, IP, and “merchandising” still matter, a lot. Ask Scott at Camp David.
Veteran banker, investor and director. From his early career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers, to his role as one of the four principals of Lazard Freres-affiliated Corporate Partners (a $1.6 billion private equity fund), to establishing the highly profitable private equity activities of Moore Capital Management (one of the world’s leading global hedge funds), to Partner of Compass Advisers, to CEO-North America of PensionsFirst (now, RiskFirst, a financial technology leader), to co-founding a community bank, to his senior role at Promontory Local Credit (partnering with community and regional banks across the US in providing specialty loans to small and middle-market borrowers), and in his many roles as Director and advisor to CEOs, Alan Colner has seen company growth and strategy before. Alan is Yale, Stanford and Street smart. He’s a consummate financier, business strategist and risk spotter. And, we’re fortunate to have him co-anchoring our panel, “On Business Strategy… Now.”
Barbara Comstock understands this year’s panel topic, “justice” from a legislative point of view having been elected to two terms in Congress representing Virginia’s 10th congressional district. After working as a lawyer in private practice, Comstock served as a Congressional aide, then as chief investigative counsel and senior counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. Then, with the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Along with Barbara Olsen (wife of US Solicitor General Ted Olson), Comstock and Olsen were known by Washington insiders as the “Two Barbaras” (tragically, Barbara Olsen died on September 11). On to Blank Rome, work as a lobbyist, and then public office. Barbara now regularly appears on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News as a policy and political commentator. You’ve seen her on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos and, of course, at Camp David.
David Deutsch is a veteran investment banker, board-member and investor. The strategic financial advisor of leading closely-held companies and the original “Board Advisor,” David is founder/president of David N. Deutsch & Company (mergers & acquisitions) and TheBoardAdvisor (board advisory), managing member of The Presidents Council (a group of senior execs who gather regularly for fraternity, education and making group private equity investments), and founder/host of The Saratoga Weekend (aka “Camp David”). Est. in 1993, David N. Deutsch & Company is known for the quality and scope of its advice, its long-term relationships, and its success in 130+ assignments. David was a founding Trustee of the Museum of American Finance (Smithsonian) where he chaired the Nominating Committee to the Board, served as Treasurer and Vice Chmn., was a member of the Board of Earth Day Network (the nexus of all global Earth Day activities), and is a long-time Board-member and Treasurer of BRANY, among other prominent board roles. When David’s not banking, advising boards, or investing, he’s a single-Dad to three above-average children, a Triathlete and a studies Krav Maga, the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israel Defense Forces.
Linda Feldmann is Washington Bureau Chief and senior political and White House correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. With a degree in Russian language and literature from Middlebury College and a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins, Linda is as smart, thoughtful and balanced a news professional as they come. Founded in 1908, The Christian Science Monitor’s approach is to serve as “an independent voice,” “devoid of the corporate allegiances and pressures that critics say too often skews today’s media.” Over the last century, it – and its senior writers and editors like Ms. Feldmann – have built a reputation for integrity, credibility and fair-mindedness in reporting, concerned with “progress of the human endeavor” and “news reported with compassion, intelligence, and essentially constructive lens.” See Linda at the next White House press conference and at Camp David.
Teddy Foster is one of Saratoga’s finest. The brains behind one of the most impressive public/private partnerships in the U.S, the restoration of Saratoga’s-own Universal Preservation Hall. A former financial services and healthcare executive, Foster spearheaded the UPH restoration project and now leads the organization. Constructed in 1871 as a Methodist church and then Universal Baptist Church, countless historic figures have given speeches in its Great Hall. Over time, its building fell into disrepair and was condemned in 2000… when a group of visionary civic leaders, including Foster, stepped-in and dedicated themselves to saving this landmark building and re-creating it into a world-class arts and educational facility, an extraordinary example of sustainable economic development and civic engagement. Walk South on Broadway, a few blocks from our Welcome Reception venue (Northshire Books), and turn right onto Washington Street. Teddy would be pleased to show you around.
Clark & Lu French
Clark & Lu French are the new owners of the legendary Northshire Books, the site of Camp David 21’s Welcome Reception. One of the last great independent bookstores, Northshire is a Saratoga (and Manchester, Vermont) treasure. Principal of French & Co., one of the highest-producing luxury realtors and developers in Florida, Clark French has sold more than $2 billion of real estate and been involved in many of the most prominent oceanfront estate transactions in that state, in transactions with and for innumerable CEOs, business founders, actors, musicians, athletes and some of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Lu French, Creative Director of French & Co., is the design genius of the operation. Clark & Lu brought their real estate and design talents north to Vermont and now to Saratoga Springs. Northshire Books’ founders, the Morrow family, can rest easy; this independent bookstore is in steady and resourceful hands.
Mayor Meg Kelly
Born and raised in Saratoga, Mayor Kelly worked for 17 years as an LPGA pro golfer, as Executive Director of Saratoga’s Children’s Theatre and then entered the public arena. First as Deputy Mayor and then as Mayor of the City of Saratoga Springs. A friend of Camp David (we cannot tell a lie, she’s also a high school classmate of David’s), Mayor Kelly welcomes our group once again with an insider’s perspective on the “Health, History and Horses” of Saratoga Springs.
Chuck Kish and Hot Club of Saratoga have become our “House Band” at Camp David. Kinda’ like Paul Shaffer to David Letterman, or Max Weinberg to Conan O’Brien. Maybe, more like John Batiste to Stephen Colbert (we think Batiste because of his New Orleans roots and because David and son Ben met JB a few years ago and thought he was way cool). Chuck Kish and Hot Club are borne of that same gypsy swing, playing a repertoire that reflects the spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and The Quintet of the Hot Club of France most prominent in the 1930s and kept alive through a long line of gypsy jazz artists. Chuck, who plays rhythm guitar, is the heart-and-soul of his crew. We’re thrilled to have Chuck and Hot Club back with us at this year’s Camp David. And, at the National Museum of Dance, no less.
Bruce Y. Lee
No, not the martial artist. Bruce Lee is a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Through his many articles in Forbes and elsewhere, Bruce has covered the pandemic with precision and practicality. Of comfort, in Bruce’s latest Forbes piece, “Of course, every time a new variant emerges, a big question is how well currently available Covid-19 vaccines may protect against the variant. Early indications are that the Covid mRNA vaccines may still offer good protection.” More from Bruce, and on what comes next at Camp David.
Founder/Publisher of long-running The New York Enterprise Report (which Rob sold in 2014), CEO of RSL Media, Investor/Chairman of Work Better Now, and Managing Member of Oasis Strategy Group (an asset management firm specializing in life settlements), Rob is an entrepreneur and marketer extraordinaire. Rob knows “content,” but he believes that companies need to move from just thinking about content to thinking about building and nurturing audiences. “Owning” an audience, not merely “advertising” to it. Hear Rob on “Marketing Matters.”
David Rollo is CEO of Acronym Media, the world’s leading independent digital agency (aka “digital search agency,” aka “performance media” agency). Acronym and its founder, Anton Konikoff, created keyword search, before google. And, they continue to lead the fields of paid-and-organic search, analytics and related services with a who’s-who roster of some of the smartest and most demanding consumers of digital-agency services: SAP, McKinsey, University of Pennsylvania, Tiffany, Four Seasons Hotels, etc. Dave Rollo, recruited as Acronym’s Chief Strategy Officer, now CEO, was formerly head of one of the most important offices another digital/search leader, 360i (owned by Japan’s biggest ad-agency Dentsu). Now, Dave and his team at Acronym are leading their clients into the post-pandemic digital-beyond. When Dave’s not at Acronym’s global HQ in the Empire State Building, find him where he grew up in Canada, in Atlanta, or in his happy place, Costa Rica.
Senior Director and Global Business head of S&P Global Market Intelligence (a Fortune 500 technology company), Pavle Sabic is a man of many talents, including author of Walter The Wanderer: An Otter’s Tale on a Grand and Global Scale (the story is one of the impact of one winning otter as he travels the world, inspiring compassion, reciprocity, kindness and friendship) — Pavle has a CD21 update for us on Walter! A Scottish native, Pavle is also an investor in philanthropic technology and an international ski coach. You’ve seen him in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Financial Times, and as a regular broadcast contributor to CNBC in both the US and Europe.
Jeff Sands is a turnaround pro’s turnaround pro. And a CEO’s CEO. Author of “Corporate Turnaround Artistry” (Wiley 2020), Jeff also writes the world’s best book inscriptions (“David, to the world’s best banker… ”). Jeff was awarded a coveted TMA Turnaround of the Year Award three-years-running (2017, 2018 and 2019), taking a break in 2020 through Covid. A founding member of turnaround advisory, Dorset Partners, Jeff also pursues distressed industrial acquisitions in partnership with American Industrial Acquisition Corp. Jeff can fix and re-build just about any company’s value in 100 days, through leadership, well-honed turnaround technique, cash-control, bank management, debt restructuring, insolvency law, and strategic exits. Jeff heads-up this year’s Camp David Strategy panel. Meet Jeff on the ski slopes of Vermont or at Camp David, anchoring this year’s discussion, “On Business Strategy… Now.”
Jon Schaefer is a CEO, investor, adventure sports operator, and skier, not necessarily in that order. He’s also the man behind “Goggles For Docs,” an innovative initiative that provided vitally needed PPE to front-line workers when they were needed most. A former Division 1 ski coach and, today, an experienced operator in the recreational facilities and services industry, Jon and his Berkshire East Mountain Resort company recently acquired Catamount Mountain in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Not surprising, Jon is a 2020 SAMMY Leadership Award winner (honoring the most influential leaders in the mountain sports industry). Few folks know as much about outdoor sports — the stuff we’re all doing post-pandemic – than Jon. “Post-Pandemic Well Being” is Jon’s theme at Camp David 21.
Michael Schein began his career in media at Spin The Bottle Inc, the production company behind VH1’s classic “Pop Up Video.” A UPenn English major, he’s been an Inc. columnist, contributor to Forbes and Huffington Post, the leader and moderator of New York Tech Alliances’ Interactive Marketing Series and is the author of, among other things, Teenage Road Hogs (MacMillan), all-the-while leading marketing agency, MicroFame Media. Mike created Forbes’ “5 Conferences That Will Expand Your Mind” (Hmmm, we can think of another) and his media clients have included, among others, the Stan Lee Foundation, eBay, and the author of The Medici Effect. Join Michael as he brings his new best-seller, The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets from the World’s Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers (McGraw Hill, 2021) to Camp David.
Ernie Sites. Saratoga Springs is horse country. And, you can’t have horses without cowboys. From southern Idaho and Saratoga, Ernie’s a cowboy, bull rider, calf roper, trick roper (like his hero, Will Rogers), poet, songwriter, guitarist and western entertainer. Along the trail, he has performed with Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Gene Autry, the Sons of the Pioneers, Riders in the Sky and been a guest on CBS, PBS, TNN, the BBC and Good Morning America. Now, Ernie travels the world teaching people about cowboys and the west, preserving the cowboy life through music, poetry and storytelling. Western author Corinne J. Brown calls him “the urban cowboy troubadour.” Yup. Meet Ernie and hear him on guitar at our Welcome Reception. (One of his best, “Hard Times Don’t Come Around No More” seems particularly fitting as we rise from the events of the past year.)
Ghost Riders in the Sky at Boak Bash:
Hard Times Don’t Come Around Here No More:
Sydney Thibault is beautiful, talented and tough (she does Krav Maga, the Israeli Defense Forces system of hand-to-hand combat). An artist, photographer, former nanny, and global private investigator Sydney is one of the most joyous people we know. Among her many talents, she makes the most beautiful charcuterie boards you’ve ever seen — they’re legendary in-and-around New York City. See them and Sydney on Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network (in their episode on wood fire food Chef Daniel Sabia), in Edible Magazine’s Top 10 Gift Giving Guide, and at Camp David 21’s Welcome Reception.
John Ubaldo is “The Bullish Farmer.” This former Wall-Streeter experienced a life-changing event when his best friend perished in 9/11. At that moment, he decided to pursue a simpler life, and he traded-in a career in finance for 185 acres of land on the Battenkill River in Cambridge, NY to become a farmer. Along the way, he encountered “Big Ag” and every obstacle faced by today’s small farmer. To John, food is medicine, and he strives to bring that sensibility back to farming. Today, he is a leading advocate for GMO labeling, preservation of crop diversity, and the reduction of chemical fertilizers. In the process, he is helping to preserve small farms and rural America. See John’s story in the award-winning “The Bullish Farmer” (see it on Amazon Prime) and meet John at Camp David.
Hon. Jeffrey D. Wait
Jeffrey Wait is judge for the Saratoga Springs City Court in Saratoga County in the 4th Judicial District of NY. One of Saratoga’s own — and former star of Saratoga High’s tennis team under legendary coach Rich Johns — Wait previously served as Asst. District Attorney in Suffolk County NY, Special Deputy Counsel for the NYS Board of Elections and City Attorney in Saratoga Springs. He’s smart, balanced, and understands “justice.” Hear Judge Wait reason-it-out at Camp David.
Former CEO of Universal Music Classics and Managing Director of global talent agency IMG Artists (the music arm of IMG Group, the legendary talent agency established by Mark McCormack and currently owned by William Morris Endeavor and Silver Lake Partners), Elizabeth Sobol used to be a NYC/Miami person. Now, as President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, one of the nation’s premier music and cultural venues, she’s a Saratogian forging stronger partnerships with the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Live Nation (bringing the biggest/best music acts in the world to “SPAC” each summer to Saratoga) among others. How do you manage, maintain, grow, build-a-board and fund-raise through a pandemic for a treasure like SPAC? Ask Elizabeth Friday night at SPAC.
Hon. Joanne Yepsen
Mayor, City of Saratoga Springs; Principal, Coltivare
Chairman, Stewart’s Shops
Co-Founder, New York City Family Enterprise Center; Partner, Holland & Knight
Senior Policy Analyst, NYS Common Pension Fund
Strategic Development, SC Johnson: A Family Company
Founder/CEO, SummerTech and Coditum
Managing Director, Hamilton Lane Advisors
Coach Rich Johns
Founder/President, Act With Respect Always
Chief Executive Officer, LeverPoint Management
Author, State of Readiness; Chairman, XONITEK; Founder, Operational Excellence Society
Chairman, Earth Day; Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
fmr. U.S. Comptroller General; Candidate for Governor of Connecticut